The Weeknd stays in character for his performance on the late night show.
The Weeknd has officially established a trend of putting on extravagant, theatrical talk show performances in the wake of his return to music. After the singer dropped his back-to-back singles, "Heartless" and "Blinding Lights" at the end of November, marking his first drop in a year-and-a-half, he's been going hard to promote his new music. He gave a trippy, backstage performance of "Heartless" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in December, and now, he's returned to the late night circuit with the ultra-80s "Blinding Lights" on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday.
Donning his new signature, Michael Jackson-inspired uniform and some serious facial injuries, The Weeknd mirrors the track's visuals, which dropped on Tuesday. The "Blinding Lights" video does bear a strong resemblance to the "Heartless" video, as they were both filmed on the same Las Vegas strip with Abel of course rocking the same red jacket ensemble. The former includes more violence, though, the results of which The Weeknd recreates in his live performance of the song with some bruising, bandages, and a bloodied nose.
Before we can see these fresh wounds, though, Abel is kept in the dark as impending lightning flashes in the distance of the purple sunset background. Throughout the performance, he takes the title of the song quite literally, as there are moments where the lighting effects actually do blind him from viewers. This era of The Weeknd has already given us so much excellence, and Chad Hugo of the Neptunes revealed earlier this month that he and Neptunes partner, Pharrell Williams, have been working with The Weeknd to deliver even more. "We were just in the studio with The Weeknd, and that sounds really futuristic," he revealed.